“Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end” — President Barack Obama, in remarks to troops at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, this morning.
NPR: President Obama outlined on Friday his plan to withdraw American combat forces from Iraq by August 2010, promising to dramatically scale back one of the nation’s longest and costliest military efforts. However, as many as 50,000 troops will remain until the end of 2011 to support “the Iraqi government and its security forces as they take the absolute lead in securing their country,” he said. The 19-month drawdown would be a move toward honoring a promise Obama made during his campaign. Initially, he set a 16-month timetable after taking office, but he later pledged “to consult closely” with military commanders to come up with a schedule. Some 4,250 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the conflict since former President Bush ordered the invasion of the country in March 2003. MORE
ASSOCIATED PRESS: President Barack Obama wants to rescind a Bush administration rule that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse for moral reasons to perform abortions. The Bush administration instituted the rule in its last days, and it was quickly challenged in federal court by several states and medical organizations. As a candidate, President Barack Obama criticized the regulation and campaign aides promised that if elected, he would review it. MORE